Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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"Compassion won't get you what you want"

School registration is evil just because it's school registration. School registration for three kids in high school is above and beyond the call of evilness. Somewhere along the line, someone decided (in a less than lucid moment, I am certain) that it would be a good idea to charge fees to attend public school.

Some of my high school senior's required class fees :
 textbook rental (textbook rental?!? what is this, Harvard?)    $30.00

 class fees (this means you get your name on the roll)                $15.00 

 activity fee                                                                              $25.00

Think that's bad? Check out the fees for my EIGHTH GRADER in the same school as the high school senior! 

Student Fee ( gimme your lunch money, or else!)     $12.50

Textbook Rental (Harvard, junior edition)                $25.00

Class Fee                                                                $15.00

Science Lab                                                            $6.00

8th Grade Shop                                                      $12.00

Safety Glasses (because really, it would be too much to ask that the 12 bucks we just paid for the privilege of taking a required shop class actually cover things like safety glasses) $3.00

P.E. Uniform (worn by a thousand kids before you. Are your shots current?) $15.00

Now. If your child in this school wants to have some experiences in middle/high school that are somewhat fun, such as getting a yearbook, taking Driver's Ed, playing an instrument in band, or joining FBLA or DECA, well, that's gonna cost ya. Those fees I expect.  But this next part... THIS threw me for a loop.

There's this thing called a fee waiver. Which means your child(ren) actually CAN get a free appropriate education through the public schools if, for example, there are a gabillion people in your family and you make less than 70k a year. Or, say you have a child with a major medical need, whose medical bills and ongoing care are proving to be a large strain on the family finances. I'm pretty certain we qualify for both of the things mentioned above.

So I went to the high school yesterday with registration forms correctly filled out for my three eldest, and asked for a fee waiver form. First, I was asked why I wanted one. Then I was asked why I had the audacity to think I would qualify. THEN I was told (all by the high school secretary, mind you) "Compassion won't get you what you want. The principal decides who will qualify for a fee waiver on a person to person basis."

I beg your pardon? Does it sound like I was playing a violin and singing "woe is me"? No. I was not. I was simply asking for a form, for a fee waiver which my family qualifies for in spades. But even though we qualify, we may or may not get a fee waiver depending on the mood of the principal on the day he looks at my application? There are so many things wrong with this picture

All images in this post by Google Images

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